Manual physical therapy is an effective group of techniques designed to decrease pain and improve range of motion and flexibility to stiff joints and muscles.
What does manual physical therapy involve?
Manual physical therapy involves one-on-one, hands-on, active and passive intervention techniques. We have found it is most effective when combined with therapeutic exercise and patient education.
How is it approached at ExcellCare Physical Therapy?
Before designing a treatment program, your physical therapist will first assess joint alignment and mobility, muscle length and strength, balance and the movement coordination of any injured joints and muscles in functional patterns.
As two key components, your manual physical therapy treatment will involve mobilization – skilled, passive movements to joints and their associated soft tissue structures.
Other hands-on techniques may also be used, such as massage, stretching and deep pressure. In addition, there are several therapeutic techniques designed to improve movement patterns, including neuromuscular re-education, motor control training and core stabilization training. These techniques require advanced training and education that can only be provided by a physical therapist.
What is the goal?
The goal of manual physical therapy is the restoration of injured tissues to normal function. Once your pain has been reduced and joint mobility improved, it will be much easier for you to regain optimal and efficient movement patterns and restore maximum function.
Why is it a specialty at ExcellCare Physical Therapy?
Individuals with a variety of disabilities and orthopedic conditions that result in disorders of movement will benefit from manual physical therapy. We have found that manual physical therapy combined with therapeutic exercise can produce rapid pain relief and improvement in function. Many of our therapists have advanced training in manual physical therapy and movement dysfunctions.
What conditions may respond to manual physical therapy?
- Pain and loss of mobility in the lower and mid back and neck
- Sports- and work-related injuries
- Pain caused by injury or postural defects
- Muscle spasms
- Pain from degenerative arthritis of hip or knee
- Post-surgical pain
What techniques are used during manual physical therapy?
- Therapeutic massage
- Joint mobilization
- Myofascial release (stretching the fascia – the thin tissue covering muscles)
- Home exercise techniques to continue therapeutic improvements
- Education in postural health and injury prevention